Never soggy, always crunchy. Sweet, with a slight tang. You can make it ahead of time with no expert baking skills required. Hold onto your hat because I will show you how to make the easiest and BEST Apple Blackberry Crumble ever.
Technically speaking, this Apple Blackberry Crumble is a 'crisp' and not a 'crumble.' But I've always used rolled oats in my crumble and since forever have called it a crumble. So let's say this is an Apple Blackberry Crisp/Crumble or a crumble/crisp 🙂
No matter the lexicon you use to describe this lovely fruit dessert, your taste buds will sing and rejoice because it's that good! Ready? Let's get into it!
Ingredients & Notes for Apple Blackberry Crumble
- Cortland apples: I enjoy this variety of apples for baking because they hold their shape well and don't become all soft and mushy like a McIntosh when baked. You could also consider Lobo, Paulared or Honeycrisp apples. Choosing the right apple will depend on where you are in the world, as varieties can often be country or region specific. For example, you might consider using Bramley apples if you are in the United Kingdom or Granny Smith or Braeburn if you are in the United States.
- Blackberries: Use fresh juicy blackberries for the best results. The reason to favour fresh over frozen is that as the frozen berries thaw in the cooking process, they release more liquid than their fresh counterpart. I tested this recipe with frozen berries; while it worked, there was more liquid at the bottom of the pan. This may or may not appeal to you.
- Butter: For the richest flavour, there is nothing that compares to real butter, so use the real deal here.
- Dark Brown Sugar: You can use light brown sugar in this recipe however, I like dark brown sugar because it has a robust taste as it contains more molasses. Also, it will give your Apple Blackberry Crumble a beautiful golden colour 🙂
- Oats: You can use Old Fashioned, Quick Oats or Minute Oats in this recipe. Also, the regular-size flake is best, not the large one. Do not use Instant Oats, as they often include flavourings as well as added sugar.
See the recipe below for specific quantities and details.
How to Make Apple Blackberry Crumble
Preheat oven and grease skillet. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease your cast iron skillet. If using butter sticks, use the wrapper from the butter to grease the skillet, as there is always some excess butter stuck to it. Otherwise, use a pat of butter. Set aside.
Melt butter. In a small microwavable bowl or small saucepan, melt the butter. Set aside.
Combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and salt.
Whisk to combine. Using a small whisk, combine the dry ingredients.
Pour in melted butter. Pour the melted butter over the combined dry ingredients.
Stir the butter to combine. Stir butter into dry ingredients until the dry ingredients have become fully hydrated with the butter. I find using my hands is easier than using a spatula.
Peel, core and slice the apples. Peel, core and slice the apples into ¼-inch thick slices (approximately 5 centimetres).
Add apples to the skillet. Add the sliced apples to your cast iron skillet and arrange them in an even layer.
Add cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the apples.
Add blackberries. Scatter the blackberries evenly over the apples.
Add crumble mixture and bake. Finally, add the crumble mixture to the skillet to form an even layer over the fruit. Bake uncovered on the bottom rack of a preheated 350°F (177°C) oven for 45 minutes. The crumble is done when you insert a pairing knife into the centre of the skillet, and there is no resistance.
Secrets for Success
- The secrets to a crunchy, never-soggy Apple Blackberry Crumble are threefold.
- The first tip is to use a suitable variety of apples that will withstand baking—namely, Cortland, Lobo, Honeycrisp, Paulared, Bramley, Granny Smith and Braeburn, for example.
- My second tip is to use the proper size pan. If your pan is too small and the apples and blackberries are piled too high, it will cook unevenly and take longer. This could result in excess moisture being extracted from the fruit. So stick to a pan that is 10 inches wide by 2 inches high (25 centimetres wide by 5 centimetres high) or very close to these dimensions.
- My third tip is to favour fresh juicy blackberries over frozen ones. As mentioned earlier, the fresh fruit will release less liquid, thus keeping the crumble nice and crisp.
- Use real butter, and don't skimp on the amount. This recipe has been tested until perfected, so the proportion of the crumble ingredients is just right to bake up crunchy 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
Using the right proportion of butter, the binding agent of the dry crumble ingredients is key. The dry ingredients must be perfectly hydrated with the butter. A good test to ensure that your crumble will be crunchy is to take some of the hydrated mixture in your hand and squeeze your hand shut. If the mixture holds together, then you are on the right track to a crunchy crumble.
Crumbles and crisps are very similar, although a crisp usually differentiates itself from a crumble because it contains oats. Over time, these two terms have become interchangeable (hence why this recipe is referred to as a crumble). This dessert is most often referred to as a crumble in Canada and the United Kingdom, for example, while our U.S. neighbours refer to it as a crisp.
I don't recommend it because the freezing process will draw out unnecessary moisture from the fruit, resulting in a potentially soggy crumble.
In a pinch, yes. This recipe will work with frozen berries, but the berries will release more liquid than the fresh berries in the cooking process. The Apple Blackberry Crumble will still be delicious, but there will be more liquid at the bottom of your pan. This may or may not appeal to you.
- You can make the Apple Blackberry Crumble ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator before baking for a couple of hours. When ready to bake, follow the instructions in the recipe card but add 15 minutes to the overall baking time if adding your crumble straight to the oven from the refrigerator.
Storage and Reheating
- Store the cooled crumble in the refrigerator for three days (but I suspect you will have devoured it all before then anyway!)
- You can reheat individual portions in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, depending on your microwave, or in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 10-15 minutes.
Apple Blackberry Crumble
- cast iron skillet 10 inches wide by 2 inches high or heat safe glass equivalent, or 25 centimetres wide by 5 centimetres wide, an 8-inch square or 20 centimetres square pan will work too
- cutting board
- chef's knife
- paring knife
- small and medium-sized bowl
- measuring spoons and cups
- small saucepan to melt butter or microwave oven
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted, plus a bit extra for greasing your pan
Apple Blackberry Filling
- 1 ½ pounds (roughly 5 medium) apples, 680 grams, weight measure, is before peeling and coring the apples
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 ounces fresh blackberries , 340 grams
- Preheat oven and grease skillet. Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease your cast iron skillet. If using butter sticks, use the wrapper from the butter to grease the skillet, as there is always some excess butter stuck to it. Otherwise, use a pat of butter. Set aside.
- Melt butter. In a small microwavable bowl or small saucepan, melt the butter. Set aside.½ cup unsalted butter
- Combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and salt.1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup dark brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon table salt
- Whisk to combine. Using a small whisk, combine the dry ingredients.
- Pour in melted butter. Pour the melted butter over the combined dry ingredients.
- Stir the butter to combine. Stir butter into dry ingredients until the dry ingredients have become fully hydrated with the butter. I find using my hands is easier than using a spatula.
- Peel, core and slice the apples. Peel, core and slice the apples into ¼-inch thick slices (approximately 5 centimetres).1 ½ pounds (roughly 5 medium) apples
- Add apples to the skillet. Add the sliced apples to your cast iron skillet and arrange them in an even layer.
- Add cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the apples.¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add blackberries. Scatter the blackberries evenly over the apples.12 ounces fresh blackberries
- Add crumble mixture and bake. Finally, add the crumble mixture to the skillet to form an even layer over the fruit. Bake uncovered on the bottom rack of a preheated 350°F (177°C) oven for 45 minutes. The Apple Blackberry Crumble is done when you insert a pairing knife into the centre of the skillet, and there is no resistance.
This was so amazing I had to let you know. We loved the sweetness of the crumble and the apples with the tartness of the blackberries-what a super combo! Thanks for this recipe. It's one I plan to make for Thanksgiving 🙂
Donna Poirier says
Hi Devina, thanks for the kind comment. I'm thrilled you enjoyed it.
Sheila Barns says
This was a very nice recipe. I don't normally make a crumble with other fruit besides apples so this was a pleasant surprise.
Donna Poirier says
Hi Sheila, I'm happy this was a pleasant surprise! 🙂